A reciprocity based technique for investigating contralaterally stimulated oto-acoustic emissions
Keywords:bioacoustics, biological techniques and instruments, ear, contralaterally stimulated otoacoustic emissions, reciprocity based technique, olivo-cochlear efferent neural system, physiological control, cochlear micromechanical properties, feedback mechanism, stimulus frequency emission, acoustic reciprocity, normally hearing subjects, reversible transducers
AbstractThe existence of the olivo-cochlear efferent neural system has led to theories of feedback mechanisms in the auditory system, possibly involving the contralateral ear, and exerting physiological control over cochlear micromechanics. Oto-acoustic emission phenomena can be used as a sensitive method of monitoring cochlear micromechanical properties in the search for such a feedback mechanism. One such phenomenon is stimulus frequency emission, well documented ipsilaterally but as yet undocumented contralaterally. A novel technique relying on the principle of acoustic reciprocity was designed for detecting the existence of any active physiological source at the frequency of a contralateral acoustic stimulus. The results of preliminary experiments carried out on normally hearing subjects with and without spontaneous oto-acoustic emissions (SOAE) do not indicate obvious correlation between the deviation from passive linearity and SOAE activity. The results do not support the hypothesis of contralateral emissions with levels significantly greater than the body conducted component of the stimuli levels used here. The experimental results, however, are limited by the sensitivity of the reversible transducers used
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